Crete, Greece — Honeymoon (part two cont.)

Back to the honeymoon adventures! It’s hard for me to only pick a minimal amount of pictures to show you all the wonders of our trip. I tried to…but I think I failed…because there are quiet a few pictures below.  I hope you can get to the island of Crete soon…it’s beautiful.

In the pictures, you will see our visit to the Palace of Knossos, Winery Stillanou, and Heraklion.  The beach at Keratokampos (including our drive along the way) and Agios Nikolaos will have to be posted tomorrow. The post was getting a little too long…you would be scrolling for dayyyssss. 😉

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Winery Stillanou

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Getting wine right from the vat 🙂

Heraklion

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Hiking to the old, abondoned windmills.

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Happy Adventures!

Erika

Airbnb – Treehouse

A Treehouse. A TREEHOUSE!!

It’s amazing how a treehouse can make you feel like a kid again and make your cheeks hurt from smiling so much.  This treehouse was tucked away in Atlanta, but you would have never guessed there were houses within walking distance. It was serene and secluded. This Airbnb listing is where we stayed the weekend after our wedding, and it was a perfect getaway.

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My iPhone doesn’t do it justice. Take a look at their listing, they have great pictures that capture all angles of the treehouse. They also provided us with a great breakfast every morning and wine each night! Great hosts and a great place to spend a weekend!

Here are a few places that we explored in Atlanta and loved!!

Taqueria Del Sol – tasty and strong Margs!

Bab’s – we came here for brunch and it was INCREDIBLE!

Grant Park Farmer’s Market

Happy Adventures,

Erika

 

 

Airbnb – Dublin

Our Airbnb in Dublin was our first experience using this great site. And it set the bar high. Paddy & Lorna were incredible. Their listing HERE.

We went for my birthday last year, a quick 4 day trip to Ireland.  Here are my photos of their lovely home, and a few of our favorite day we spent in Dublin…in the fishing village of Howth, where we went on a gorgeous cliff walk.

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Lorna & Paddy’s adorable cat, Tiger, greeted us at their door

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:::Howth:::

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Lorna had also put together an extensive guidebook for us. That highlighted the “must-sees” around Dublin. Here are links to a few places we suggest going when in Ireland, some provided originally by Lorna.

Queen of Tarts –went here 3 times. Loved the Raspberry Scones, and Pies 🙂

Beerrrrrrr — buy tickets online first if you can. Free Guinness at the top!

V.C.C – a speakeasy, hard to find but worth the search! Amazing Cocktails.

The Stag’s Head – a must when in Dublin

Happy Adventures,

Erika

 

Airbnb Week

Jake and I are absolutely obsessed with Airbnb.

We have used them for everything from our honeymoon to birthday weekend getaways.  I am going highlight this week our Airbnb experiences and also wish lists for our upcoming trips! I stay at hotels a lot…sometimes it feels like every other night I’m staying in a hotel, and I have to say they are nice. I do enjoy it. BUT. Airbnb is like something else entirely. It’s incredible being able to experience someone’s home city from their perspective. You are getting a genuine and unique experience. When you meet your host (a local), you get to ask questions of where you should really go during the short stay.  Also, they are not surrounded by other hotels and tourist traps, but in an actual neighborhood!


Part of my travel bucket list is Paris. Seems cliche, but I know I am going to absolutely fall in love with that city. From what I hear it is the heart of pastries, espresso, and museums. I am in love already.

I went to Airbnb.com and searched by neighborhoods (there are 31 neighborhoods in Paris). I selected “Loved by Parisians” and then it gave me 12 options. Then I chose Saint-Germain-des-Pres-Odeon, because it was described as “No corner stores. Just corner patisseries.” Exactly what I want. It looks to be great area–close to many art galleries,  Notre Dame, and the Pantheon.

I separated my selections by three categories. 1) Great Terraces/Views  2) Great for a group 3) Great price…also a bonus one for those big spenders! I tried to keep them all under $200 a night. The great price category all around $100 a night.

:::GREAT TERRACES | VIEWS:::

Listing No 1: Nice flat w/ terrace in St-Germain $154/night

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Listing No 2: Fantastic St. Germain Apartment $175/night

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Listing No 3: Studio Romantique – Terrasse unique $222/night

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:::GREAT FOR GROUPS:::

Listing No. 1: Apt de Charme Rue st André des arts $222/night – sleeps 5

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Listing No. 2: Charming Penthouse in Paris’ Heart $203/night – sleeps 6

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Listing No. 3: St-Germain – Central location $196/night – sleeps 5

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 :::GREAT PRICE:::

Listing No. 1: Niche au coeur de Saint-Germain $105/night

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Listing No. 2: Charming apartment in Saint-Germain $98/night

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Listing No. 3: Cosy Saint-Germain-des-Près 6th $105/night

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Last one for kicks: :::BIG BUCKS:::

St-Germain-des-Prés Elegant 1 Bdrm $420/night

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I can’t wait until we can book one of these for our Paris excursion! I’ll be sure to update you on what one we choose.

Coming up this week: Our Dublin Airbnb, Our Treehouse Airbnb and Our Honeymoon Airbnb!

Happy adventures,

Erika

 

 

Birthday Banana Bread

Yesterday was my birthday! Woot! Woot! I had such a great time, hanging with friends, spending quality time with the hubby and exploring new places to eat in Chicago (which I will have to share in a later post).

Today, I would like to share the recipe for the delicious banana bread I made to kick off the birthday festivities.

Being “on call” for work can be a little stressful. My phone is glued to my hand, and I mostly end up staying home and getting to projects and recipes that I have been meaning to get to. I was on call on the 18th, and I’m happy to say something great came from it…this Banana Crumble Bread!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

:::Ingredients:::

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

:::CRUMBLE TOP:::

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

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:::Instructions:::

In mixer, beat together sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add butter and mix until smooth. Next, add the mashed bananas. Next, take your yogurt and milk and mix those two items in separate small bowl or cup until well combined (no lumps). Mix in that combination after the bananas.

In a separate bowl, combine your dry items: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly pour your dry mix into your other bowl of “wet” ingredients.

Take your loaf pan, spray with non-stick spray or coconut oil spray. Pour in batter.

To make the crumble topping: add all crumble top ingredients, use fork to mix and break up the larger “crumbles.” When pouring on top of the batter use your hands to press it into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees, for 50 minutes (or until knife/toothpick comes out clean).

Enjoy!

Erika

 

CRETE, Greece — Honeymoon (part two)

Crete, Greece was our main destination for our honeymoon. We were there for a full week and it was amazing. We wanted to do more island hopping, to Santorini (the closest island), but we ended up staying in Crete the whole week. It’s a big island, a lot to explore!!

The little village we were in was called Koutouloufari. It was on the outskirts of Hersonissos. Here are a few pictures of us exploring our little town on the first day. (Check below for more information about what’s in the photos!)

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Isn’t this little village adorable! After a three hour drive from Chania (where we flew in from Milan using Ryan Air), we were happy to get here.

We stayed at the Village Holiday Club, it stood out with its bright stucco, rooftop decks and a beautiful outdoor lounge area. Also not shown, it’s library and wine cellar.  We strolled down the street outside our villas and again it was that awkward time where people haven’t opened for dinner and already finished early afternoon serving. Not a lot was open. Luckily, the adorable lady at Gevsi greeted us and treated us like family in her family owned restaurant. Her daughter was there practicing her english with us. They were so very kind. The food was delicious–I had the Moussaka (the one in the pottery casserole bowl), made up of eggplant, potatoes, spiced meat, and topped with a cheese.  Jake had the Kleftiko, which was lamb, peppers, potatoes and a huge block of feta baked in the tin foil and ready to consume. Great flavor, it ended up being Jake’s favorite dish from the whole week in Greece.

While we were eating, a funeral service was going on right above us at the church shown in the pictures (taken later that night). There is a set of stairs near the restaurant that leads you to the church’s courtyard. The service was being projected through speakers so the whole village could hear it…which I thought was cool. Later as we were finishing up, the people who had attended all filed down the stairs and down the street (only one main road), with the priest leading the way. The women explained to us the tradition and greeted many of the passers-by. It felt like we were experiencing something so personal and intimate. I cherish that first experience, it’s one I won’t forget.

We later walked down to the water and explored the town below our village, Hersonissos. There we found the bakery which I would attend about every morning.

 

Random Travel Tip::: There is some intense driving in Greece. Mostly because of its narrow roads and lack of “rules.” Luckily, it was the same direction as the Unites States. The main highway is wider, but we soon found out that it is custom to use the shoulder of the road as the second lane. If you plan on driving a little slower, stay to the very edge of the right side. You might think it’s not a second lane because there is no line indicating that, but people will pass you when not ‘legal’ to do so. You have to stay to the edge.  And you have to drive with confidence.  Once we got into the village it’s a whole new type of driving. A crazy web of tiny tiny streets and then all of a sudden there will be a choice of big stairs or an alley that looks too tiny for a car to fit through. It’s a rush. They sometimes will have the rounded mirrors so you can see what’s coming around the corner. Have fun! 🙂

Happy adventures!

Erika

ROME – Honeymoon (part one)

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This is my iPhone’s account of our Rome excursion.

We were only in Rome a few hours which was too quick, but I’m glad we were able to see some of the historic city. We had plans to take a train to Milan later in the afternoon, so we luggage checked our bags at the Roma Termini (main train station) then hit the town for a few hours! The luggage check (it’s called “left luggage” in the station) was about 6 Euros for 4 hours per bag.  Pretty good deal to be hands free while exploring Rome!

Getting into Rome in the morning, after flying through the night, makes you pretty hungry. Jake and I both had food on the mind right when we touched down into Italy. Pizza or pasta preferably ;).  Come to find out they don’t really start opening restaurants until 1pm –and sometimes they are closed midday and return later around 5pm for dinner. Definitely not a breakfast town. More of a cigarettes and espresso for the morning start type of people. We love a great cup of espresso, so cappuccinos and pastries it was.  We stumbled upon La Bottega del Caffe later, where we got ourselves a salad and pizza…and more espresso.

Then off to the Colosseum! What a site. Rome is a very walkable city…it felt like we just looked up and there is was…when it felt like we had so much longer to go. It is transportation friendly too. We had no problem going from the airport to the train station to the Colosseum and later to Milan.

Random Travel Tip:::When purchasing your tickets for RailEurope or any other train line from a self-service machine, if someone comes up to help they are not just being friendly or work for the train station, but will ask you for money after they have finished helping. So either go in knowing not to accept any help at the machines or go to someone at the windows selling tickets (where the lines are usually longer).

 

Happy adventures!

Erika